By the confidence….

Why is the Shambhala Aspiration the closing chant?

It’s nice to mark the close of a meditation session.  It allows one to notice that you have done something and then take a moment to acknowledge that and then move on.  There is an additional element, to make an aspiration in that transition that will help carry and remind you throughout your day.  It is more powerful if you can say it out loud or proclaim it, even if you are the only one hearing it.  Every tradition has a version of a closing chant or prayer.

The logic of shambhala is inherent in this chant.  We possess basic goodness and when we connect to each other we create enlightened society.  It also presents a path by which we can do this.

By the confidence of the Golden Sun of the Great East

This could be thought of as ‘with’ the confidence.  What confidence?  The confidence of the sun of goodness or basic goodness that is in all beings.  What is that?  This line is pointing the meditation experience of being.  As opposed to a possession, this confidence is innate so it is expressed as ‘by the’.

Great East points to how that confidence is always arising (east) and that it is shinning, radiant.

May the lotus garden of the Rigden’s wisdom bloom

Taking it further and going out into the world and relating to others.  The lotus garden is both our own ability to blossom and the ability of all others to see their own blossoming.  What is actually blossoming?  Wisdom, awake mind of the holder of ‘rig’, which is our own possession.  Our own flower power 🙂

May the dark ignorance of sentient beings be dispelled

Ignorance is not our nature, light is, or Great Eastern Sun which is wisdom.  Darkness is dispelled instantly.  A candle in a cave that hasn’t had light for 1,000 years is instantly illuminated, as if it had never been dark.  Wisdom is like that.  May it be so for all beings!

May all beings enjoy profound brilliant glory.  

Allow your ability to feel to expand, penetrating care to all beings.  Starting with you and out to everyone.  We can be connected in this moment, one family, one society.  The light of the sun doesn’t dilute with expansion.  This radiation also opens pathways into the future.

Chanting these four lines at the end of any activity lays the ground for this aspiration to take root.  It helps deepen our individual aspirations and also can actually benefit others.  Adding this to the end of a meal or a meeting  can simply end the activity cleanly with the added benefit of making an aspiration for ones life.

This aspiration is worthy of memorization and contemplation so that the words will have power and meaning.


Kristine McCutcheon, a householder who lives between mountain and sea in Cape Breton. 

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